Gulbarga, now known as Kalburgi, is located in Northern Karnataka and is known for its beautiful historical forts and northern Karnataka cuisine. A major administrative centre for its district, it is also an educational hub housing the sought after Gulbarga University. Gulbarga was historically ruled by Hindu and Muslim dynasties, the remnants of which can still be seen today. Gulbarga’s heritage is an embodiment of it’s very rich and diverse Sufi culture. Explore its stunning Islamic architecture and Sufi culture by visiting the Khwaja Banda Nawaz Dargah and the Jama Masjid. It also has the famous Sharana Basaveshwara Temple built to commemorate the eminent Hindu philosopher, Shri Sharana Basaveshwara. Watch the Gulbarga city come alive during the Cars Festival celebrating the teachings of the Hindu Saint Sharana Basaveshwara in March and the Urs festival in August marking the death anniversary of Sufi philosopher Khwaja Bande Nawaz, both of whom preached inclusion irrespective of caste, colour or gender.
Inaugurated by former President Mrs. Prathibha Patil and His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the Buddha Vihar is a very peaceful and serene place in Gulbarga. Located inside the Gulbarga University, the Buddha Vihar is built in traditional Buddhist architecture taking inspiration from prominent Buddhist centres such as Sarnath and Ajanta. It is surrounded by trees and dozens of birds making it a beautiful and calm place for one to meditate. It is one of the cleanest areas in Gulbarga, and it has a meditation hall in the cellar which is very serene and quiet. There is no entry between 12 PM to 4 PM so make sure you plan your visit accordingly.
A great place for history lovers, the Gulbarga Fort and its famous mosque, the Jama Masjid is a must-visit. The mosque is an example of unique Islamic architecture as it is fully enclosed on all sides. It was eventually enlarged in 1347 by the Bahmani Dynasty with the addition of mosques, palaces, tombs, and other structures. The most significant structure within the fort is the exquisite Jama Masjid. It is constructed in beautiful Parisian style architecture with stunning domes and hundreds of arched columns supporting the structure. Take a walk through history at the Gulbarga Fort and experience the pacific prayers at the mosque which is functional even today.
This ancient temple in Gulbarga was built to commemorate the Hindu saint and philosopher, Shri Sharana Basaveshwara and his contributions towards the Hinduism. But the temple is famous for more than just the shrine. People of all faiths from all over the world converge to the sprawling temple complex to witness the historic car festival in March to commemorate the death anniversary for the Saint Sharanabasaveshwara. Almost every household in Gulbarga district observes it as a ritual to fast from dawn-to-dusk during the car festival followed by a delicious traditional dinner comprising of traditional Holige and Huggi. You can also witness the silver plate used by the saint (Prasada Battala) during the car festival and get a glimpse of the sandalwood cover used for keeping the Linga, the Linga Sajjike. Experience the generosity of Sharanabasaveshwara people by enjoying a free meal at the temple cooked with grains donated by local farmers.
If you are looking for a tranquil, spiritual experience, the Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah is just the place. Challenging conventional tradition, the Dargah does not discriminate entry based on caste, religion or gender. The Dargah was built to commemorate the Hazrat Khwaja Banda Nawaz Gesu Daraz, the famous Sufi saint in India who preached the same beliefs of non-discrimination. Explore the historic architecture, visit the tomb of Hazrat Daraz and his family and visit the library below the dargah. At the grave of his daughter, there is a neem tree whose leaves are considered to be holy. Upon eating the leaves, the locals believe that your wishes would be full filled.
The Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah also hosts the annual Urs festival held in the month of August at the tomb of Khwaja Bande Nawaz. Thousands of pilgrims throng the dargah to commemorate his death anniversary of the saint. It is a significant and popular festival of Gulbarga where the whole city comes alive with prayers, lights and food.
Gulbarga has a tropical climate making the summers very hot and unbearable for sight-seeing and travelling. The monsoons bring in some relief and transform the city in July. The heavy rains set against the historical monuments in the town is a sight to behold. Winters are the best time to visit Gulbarga as the climate is cold and chilly making it ideal for exploring its many attractions. The average temperature in Gulbarga is 27.2 C.
1. Nawaaz Restaurant
Visit this family-friendly place for South Indian Thalis, excellent vegetarian options and mouth-watering desserts. Enjoy the quaint settings and satisfy your hunger with delicious koftas and their famous South thalis.
Cost for 2: INR 200
Address: Darga Road, Kalaburagi
Timings: 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
2. Radha's Kitchen
Located inside the Kandoor Mall, this laid-back restaurant offers simple food for a family friendly meal. The staff at Radha's Kitchen instantly make you feel at home and is paradise for vegetarians.
Cost for 2: INR 150
Address: Kandoor Mall, Shambhognlli, Kalaburagi
Timings: 9:30 AM - 10:00 PM
3. Galaxy Restaurant
An excellent stop for lunch, this place is a paradise for biryani lovers and vegetarians alike. Enjoy non-vegetarian starters and experience the famous hospitality of the local Gulbarga people.
Cost for 2: INR 300
Address: Garden Road, Mahaveer Nagar, Khuba Plot, Brhampur, Kalaburagi, Karnataka 585105
Phone: 099015 70621
Timings: 12:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Gulbarga is a major administrative centre in North Karnataka and is extremely well connected by road and train. Local buses and autos are popular modes for transport within the city.
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